Who will hear my case?
The Chairperson will assign a case to a panel composed of three members of the Competition Tribunal. At least one member on the panel must have legal training and experience. The Chairperson will designate one member of the panel to preside over the panel’s proceedings.
What is the format of a hearing?
The Competition Tribunal tries to hold its hearings less formally than would a court. Merger hearings would be a good example of this. However, sometimes formality is needed in cases - particularly in prohibited practice cases and where hearings more closely resemble those of a court with examination and cross-examination of witnesses and legal argument. All hearings, except pre-hearings, are transcribed.
What is a pre-hearing?
The purpose of a pre-hearing is essentially to deal with the timetable and any procedural considerations related to a case. Pre-hearings are normally conducted by one member only. Please refer to Rules 21-22 of the COMPETITION TRIBUNAL RULES.
How long does the process take?
Cases before the Competition Tribunal often raise complicated competition issues and may involve a significant number of parties, so it may be difficult to know at the outset how long a particular case will last. However, the Competition Tribunal does seek to manage the timetable and aim to complete “straightforward” cases as soon as possible.
In terms of the COMPETITION TRIBUNAL RULES large, small and intermediate mergers must be set down for hearing or pre-hearing within 10 business days of the Competition Commission filing its recommendation in the case of large mergers, or in the case of small and intermediate mergers after the filing date. Within 10 business days of completing the hearing the Competition Tribunal must either approve, with or without conditions, or prohibit the merger. Within 20 business days of its decision, the Competition Tribunal must issue written reasons for its decision.
Complaint referrals and procedural matters will be set down for pre-hearing and hearing as soon as pleadings have closed. These matters can run from one day or for years depending on the litigation process followed by parties.
Where does the Competition Tribunal hear cases?
All Tribunal hearings are held at Block C of the dti Campus, 77 Meintjies Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria.
Who can attend the Competition Tribunal’s hearings?
Any person can attend a hearing. In the event of confidential information being presented during the hearing, the presiding member on the panel will announce that the hearing will go in camera and the public will be requested to leave the hearing room. The Competition Tribunal tries to keep in camera sessions as short as possible. The public will be called back to the hearing as soon as the confidential session ends.
Are the transcripts of hearings publicly available?
Please contact the Registrar for copies of hearing transcripts.
How can I obtain copies of the Competition Tribunal’s Reasons or Competition Appeal Court judgments?
Public versions of all the Competition Tribunal’s reasons for decisions in cases including the judgments of the Competition Appeal Court are available here.
What can I do if I do not agree with the Competition Tribunal’s decision?
All decisions of the Competition Tribunal can be appealed to the Competition Appeal Court, a special division of the High Court, which sits in Cape Town.
Do I have to pay costs if the Competition Tribunal decides against me?
Should the Competition Tribunal award costs to the winner, the loser will have to pay the costs as ordered.
Does the Competition Tribunal keep the money when I have to pay an administrative penalty?
In terms of SECTION 59(4) OF THE ACT all fines imposed by the Competition Tribunal must be paid to the Competition Commission which in turn pays the fines into the National Revenue Fund.
Do you have examples of different applications properly filed with the Competition Tribunal?
COMPLAINT REFERRAL BY COMPLAINANT
APPLICATION FOR INTERIM RELIEF
INTERVENTION APPLICATION IN A MERGER
APPLICATION FOR FILING FEE REFUND